- St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and Archbishop of Myra in Lycia
- Life of St Nicholas the Wonderworker / iwojafevazyx.ml
- Commemorated May 9/27, December 6/19
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Nicholas was revered as a saint even before his death because of his great holiness and tender care of his flock. After the Blessed Mother and St. John the Forerunner Baptist , Nicholas was the most revered saint in the early church. He is most honored in the East, especially in Russia.
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Throughout the world many churches are named for him—more than for any other saint. His ministry continues to this day as a powerful intercessor for the protection and advancement of the Church. In the weekly liturgical cycle of the Orthodox Church, Thursday is dedicated to the Holy Apostles and to Saint Nicholas, who stands as a model for all the great hierarchs , the successors to the Apostles and teachers of the Church. To be given a place in the weekly cycle indicates the great veneration the Church accords him.
The Intercession of St. Writing a Saint Nicholas Icon Reflections on the process, with pictures. Nicholas is well known. In the liturgic weekly cycle of the Orthodox Church, among the days of the week dedicated to the Saviour and to different orders of heavenly and earthly sanctity, only three persons are singled out by name: Christ Himself is in the centre at the top, flanked by the Apostles Peter left and Paul right. On either side of St Nicholas are four Warrior-Saints, dressed in the Roman Imperial armour and cloaks of their time, holding spears and swords.
On the left are the martyrs Demetrius and Theodore Stratelates, whilst on the right are the martyrs George and Procopius of Scythopolis. At the bottom are three Holy Unmercenaries healers: Cosmas, Panteleimon, and Damian.
None of these Saints particularly relate to the life of St Nicholas, but taken together they can be regarded as comprising the different ranks of the Sainthood: At the centre of all these famous Saints and they were all incredibly well-revered in the 10th century is St Nicholas. He is therefore shown not only as the archetypal Bishop, but the archetypal Saint. The icon represents what the faithful in the ancient Church thought of Nicholas of Myra, and such reverence is preserved in later icons too.
The truth of thy deeds hath revealed thee to thy flock as a canon of faith, an icon of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence; for this thou hast achieved the heights by humility, riches by poverty, O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, intercede with Christ God that our souls may be saved. The St Nicholas Center — a wealth of information on the Saint. You are commenting using your WordPress. An early list makes him an attendee at the First Council of Nicaea in , but he is never mentioned in any writings by people who were actually at the council.
Late, unsubstantiated legends claim that he was temporarily defrocked and imprisoned during the Council for slapping the heretic Arius.
St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and Archbishop of Myra in Lycia
Another famous late legend tells how he resurrected three children who had been murdered and pickled in brine by a butcher planning to sell them as pork during a famine. Less than years after Nicholas's death, the St. Nicholas Church was built in Myra under the orders of Theodosius II over the site of the church where he had served as bishop and Nicholas's remains were moved to a sarcophagus in that church.
In , after the Byzantine Empire temporarily lost control of the region to the Seljuk Turks , a group of merchants from the Italian city of Bari removed the major bones of Nicholas's skeleton from his sarcophagus without authorization and brought them to their hometown, where they are now enshrined in the Basilica di San Nicola. The remaining bone fragments from the sarcophagus were later removed by Venetian sailors and taken to Venice during the First Crusade. His relics in Bari are said to exude a miraculous watery substance known as " manna " or " myrrh ", which some members of the faithful regard as possessing supernatural powers.
Very little at all is known about Saint Nicholas's historical life.
Nicholas's name also occurs as "Nicholas of Myra of Lycia" on the tenth line of a list of attendees at the Council of Nicaea recorded by the historian Theodoret in the Historiae Ecclesiasticae Tripartitae Epitome , written sometime between and In his treatise De statu animarum post mortem written c. Despite its extremely late date, Michael the Archimandrite's Life of Saint Nicholas is believed to heavily rely on older written sources and oral traditions.
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Cann and medievalist Charles W. Jones both consider Michael the Archimandrite's Life the only account of Saint Nicholas that is likely to contain any historical truth.
Life of St Nicholas the Wonderworker / iwojafevazyx.ml
Accounts of Saint Nicholas's life agree on the essence of his story,  but modern historians disagree regarding how much of this story is actually rooted in historical fact. After his parents died, Nicholas is said to have distributed their wealth to the poor. According to Michael the Archimandrite's version, on the third night, the father of the three girls stayed up and caught Saint Nicholas in the act of the charity. The historicity of this incident is disputed. English argues for a historical kernel to the legend, noting the story's early attestation as well as the fact that no similar stories were told about any other Christian saints.
In another story, Nicholas is said to have visited the Holy Land. After visiting the Holy Land, Nicholas returned to Myra. One of the earliest attested stories of Saint Nicholas is one in which he saves three innocent men from execution. As they were about to be executed, Nicholas appeared, pushed the executioner's sword to the ground, released them from their chains, and angrily chastised a juror who had accepted a bribe. Later versions of the story are more elaborate, interweaving the two stories together.
In , Nicholas is said to have attended the First Council of Nicaea ,    where he is said to have been a staunch opponent of Arianism and devoted supporter of Trinitarianism ,  and one of the bishops who signed the Nicene Creed. English notes that lists of the attendees at Nicaea vary considerably, with shorter lists only including roughly names, but longer lists including around A later legend, first attested in the fourteenth century, over 1, years after Nicholas's death, holds that, during the Council of Nicaea, Nicholas lost his temper and slapped "a certain Arian" across the face.
Greydanus concludes that, because of the story's late attestation, it "has no historical value. One story tells how during a terrible famine, a malicious butcher lured three little children into his house, where he killed them, placing their remains in a barrel to cure, planning to sell them off as ham.
Commemorated May 9/27, December 6/19
English notes that the story of the resurrection of the pickled children is a late medieval addition to the legendary biography of Saint Nicholas  and that it is not found in any of his earliest Lives. Though this story seems bizarre and horrifying to modern audiences,  it was tremendously popular throughout the late Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period and widely beloved by ordinary folk. According to another story, during a great famine that Myra experienced in —, a ship was in the port at anchor, loaded with wheat for the Emperor in Constantinople.
Nicholas invited the sailors to unload a part of the wheat to help in the time of need. The sailors at first disliked the request, because the wheat had to be weighed accurately and delivered to the Emperor. Only when Nicholas promised them that they would not suffer any loss for their consideration, the sailors agreed.
When they arrived later in the capital, they made a surprising find: It has long been traditionally assumed that Saint Nicholas was originally buried in his home town of Myra, where his relics are later known to have been kept,   but some recent archaeological evidence indicates that Saint Nicholas may have originally been entombed in a rock-cut church located at the highest point on the small Turkish island of Gemile , only twenty miles away from his birthplace of Patara.
In the mids, Gemile was vulnerable to attack by Arab fleets, so Nicholas's remains appear to have been moved from the island to the city of Myra, where Nicholas had served as bishop for most of his life. A solemn bronze statue of the saint by Russian sculptor Gregory Pototsky was donated by the Russian government in , and was given a prominent place in the square fronting the medieval Church of St. Protests from the Russian government against this were successful, and the bronze statue was returned albeit without its original high pedestal to a corner nearer the church.
On 28 December , the Turkish government announced that it would be formally requesting the return of Saint Nicholas's skeletal remains to Turkey from the Italian government.
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In , an archaeological survey at St. Nicholas Church, Demre was reported to have found a temple below the modern church, with excavation work to be done that will allow researchers to determine whether it still holds Nicholas' body. English describes the removal of the relics from Myra as "essentially a holy robbery"  and notes that the thieves were not only afraid of being caught or chased after by the locals, but also the power of Saint Nicholas himself.
Prior to the translation of Nicholas's relics to Bari, his cult had been known in western Europe, but it had not been extremely popular. After the relics were brought to Bari , they continued to produce "myrrh", much to the joy of their new owners. Vials of myrrh from his relics have been taken all over the world for centuries, and can still be obtained from his church in Bari.
Even up to the present day, a flask of manna is extracted from the tomb of Saint Nicholas every year on 6 December the Saint's feast day by the clergy of the basilica. The myrrh is collected from a sarcophagus which is located in the basilica vault and could be obtained in the shop nearby. The liquid gradually seeps out of the tomb, but it is unclear whether it originates from the body within the tomb, or from the marble itself; since the town of Bari is a harbour, and the tomb is below sea level , there have been several natural explanations proposed for the manna fluid, including the transfer of seawater to the tomb by capillary action.
In , a vault in the crypt underneath the Basilica di San Nicola was dedicated as an Orthodox chapel with an iconostasis in commemoration of the recent lifting of the anathemas the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches had issued against each other during the Great Schism in Nicholas in Bari were sent on loan to Moscow. The relic was on display for veneration at Christ the Savior Cathedral before being taken to St. Petersburg in mid-June prior to returning to Bari.
The sailors from Bari only took the main bones of Nicholas's skeleton, leaving all the minor fragments in the grave. Because of Nicholas's skeleton's long confinement in Myra, after it was brought to Bari, the demand for pieces of it rose. Peter in June The clergy at Bari strategically gave away samples of Nicholas's bones to promote the cult and enhance its prestige. An Irish tradition states that the relics of Saint Nicholas are also reputed to have been stolen from Myra by local Norman crusading knights in the twelfth century and buried near Thomastown , County Kilkenny , where a stone slab marks the site locally believed to be his grave.
Whereas the devotional importance of relics and the economics associated with pilgrimages caused the remains of most saints to be divided up and spread over numerous churches in several countries, Saint Nicholas is unusual in that most of his bones have been preserved in one spot: